Charl Schwartzel makes it fab four at Alfred Dunhill

The former Masters champion shook off a shaky front nine to clinch a fourth win in the first event of the 2016 Race to Dubai.

Charl Schwartzel makes it fab four at Alfred Dunhill

Malelane: Home favourite Charl Schwartzel protected his overnight lead to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship for the fourth time on Sunday as he finished four strokes clear of Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the Leopard Creek Country Club.

The former Masters champion shook off a shaky front nine when he made the turn in one over 36 but a closing 34 was enough to see the Johannesburg native clinch a fourth win in the first event of the 2016 Race to Dubai.

He finished the tournament 15-under par and also became the first South African to win an EPGA event four times and the third man from his country, after Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, to win 10 EPGA tournaments.

The 31-year-old was never really in danger after coming into the final 18 holes with a three-shot overnight lead.

"It feels good. The way I`ve played the last few years, I`ve been down in quite a slump, I didn`t really see myself coming out and winning," said Schwartzel who should now return to the world top 40.

"But we`ve put in so much hard work in the last 18 months and it`s frustrating when week-in, week-out you`re playing and it feels like it`s never going to turn.

"I guess there`s no better fit than for it to turn around here. This place has treated me really well. I got my first win here and now my tenth so I think it`s pretty fitting."

France`s Benjamin Hebert finished in third spot, his best European finish at 10 under par, ahead of compatriot Sebastien Gros who was nine under.

Three players finished at eight under -- Challenge Tour graduate Thomas Linard, Matt Ford and Joost Luiten.

Defending champion Branden Grace was a further shot back after seeing his late charge, which began with an eagle on the par four 11th, end as he found the water on the 16th and 18th.

Jaco Van Zyl was also at seven under after firing the round of the day with a 64, alongside Eddie Pepperell who ended his week with a 68.

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